Kevin Stitt is the 28th Governor of Oklahoma. He won his state’s 2018 gubernatorial election, beating his Democratic opponent by 54.33 percent to 42.23 percent. To win, Stitt relied much upon his business background as well as the support of important Republican leaders.
1. Born in Milton, FL
Stitt was born in Milton, FL. No one is sure how the city received its name. Some people think that it is a contraction of Milltown, whereas other people think it is named for either a governor named John Milton or a pioneer named Milton Amos. Having said that, Milton, FL had a number of nicknames with much clearer origins. For example, Scratch Ankle was coined because of the briars upon the riverbanks. Likewise, Hell-town was coined because of the briars as well as a host of other factors such as mosquitoes, snakes, and an inhospitable climate.
2. Raised in Oklahoma
With that said, Stitt was raised in the state of Oklahoma for the most part. Initially, this was in Wayne, OK. However, he eventually moved to Norman, OK where his father was the pastor of a church.
3. Studied Accounting
In school, Stitt studied accounting. Generally speaking, accounting is associated with businesses. However, it is critical for other organizations as well. After all, people can’t run organizations unless they have a clear idea of what is going on with its finances, which is where accounting can step up. Still, there are considerable differences between businesses and their not-for-profit counterparts, thus making for considerable differences in the accounting for businesses and the accounting for their not-for-profit counterparts. In accounting as in a wide range of other fields, there are plenty of opportunities for specialization.
4. Was a Salesperson
To pay his way through Oklahoma State University, Stitt became a door-to-door salesperson for Southwestern Advantage, which offers educational books, software, and website subscriptions to interested individuals. As it turned out, Stitt was a capable salesperson, so much so that he managed to become the single best seller for the business in his first year. Having said that, it is important to mention some useful context, which is that Southwestern Advantage specifically recruits students to serve as its salespeople.
5. Member of the Cherokee Nation
Stitt is a member of the Cherokee Nation. It is unclear how the Cherokee people came to be. One line of speculation is that they migrated from the Great Lakes region in ancient times. Another line of speculation is that the Cherokee people were in the Southeast even earlier than that. Nowadays, there are three Cherokee tribes with federal recognition. Out of the three, the Cherokee Nation is the biggest with more than 300,000 tribal members. In fact, that is enough to make them the single biggest tribe with federal recognition in the whole of the United States. In any case, Stitt’s status as a member of the Cherokee Nation makes him the state of Oklahoma’s second Native American governor, having been beaten to the position by Johnston Murray in the 1950s.
6. Founded Gateway
In time, Stitt founded Gateway. He has claimed that he started out with just $1,000 as well as a computer. Due to this, one of his first challenges was raising the $50,000 needed to receive the approval to become a FHA lender, which was made possible by the equity in his home. Stitt was the CEO until August of 2018, which was when he stepped down from said position. However, he remains the Chairman.
7. His Company Has Run into Controversies
It is worth mentioning that Stitt’s company was mentioned as one of the 15 shadiest government-backed mortgage lenders by Business Insider in 2009. Apparently, Gateway originated an unusual number of bad mortgages, so much so that it originated almost twice as many as its competitors. In Illinois, there was an investigation into one of the company’s loan originators for fraud, with the result that the employee was fired while the company was fined $10,000.
8. Resumed State Executions
Oklahoma has a higher-than-average number of executions. However, a moratorium on state executions was placed because of a botched execution in April of 2014 and then an execution using unauthorized methods in January of 2015. Recently, Oklahoma’s government announced that it would be resuming executions because it had managed to find a source for the drugs that it needs for lethal injections. Moreover, it is working on a delivery method for nitrogen gas as a backup should said source dry up at some point in the future. In any case, capital punishment has widespread support in the state, with Stitt being no exception to the rule.
9. Has Proposed Criminal Justice Reforms
Stitt has proposed some criminal justice reforms. For example, he wanted to make the sentencing standards of SQ780 effective retroactive, which is important because SQ780 changed the classification of simple drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor as well as increased the cap before property crimes could be considered felonies. Likewise, Stitt wanted to block criminal records being considered for matters of professional licensing, which would presumably make it easier for those out of prison to stay out of prison by providing them with better chances of securing a decent job.
10. Didn’t Take the COVID-19 Crisis As Seriously As Some of the Other Governors
Some people might remember Stitt from earlier in the COVID-19 crisis because he took his family to eat at a restaurant after he had told Oklahomans to follow the health recommendations, which of course, included social distancing. The incident provoked a particularly strong backlash because he stated that he would continue going out to eat at a time when some of the other states had already shut down restaurants and entertainment venues entirely. In any case, Stitt did eventually shut down Oklahoma to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, with the result that he and the rest of the state are now in the process of reopening step by step.